Elon Musk had a bit of a meltdown on Twitter this week as the media reported troubles at Tesla, including missing production goals and clashing with the government about the infamous autopilot crash that happened with a Tesla car a few months ago.
Going to create a site where the public can rate the core truth of any article & track the credibility score over time of each journalist, editor & publication. Thinking of calling it Pravda …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 23, 2018
In said meltdown, he went after the press, suggesting he might create a system to rate the media and name the site Pravda—which was the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and is today run by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. It also means “truth.”
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 03: SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk (L) talks with White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon at the beginning of a policy forum with U.S. President Donald Trump in the State Dining Room at the White House February 3, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
In response, Twitter had a field day of sorts, from this:
Elon’s next company: Rate My Professor but for Journalists. What a great idea that won’t be gamed immediately in extremely predictable ways. https://t.co/qYUcx6dv8K
— Renee DiResta (@noUpside) May 23, 2018
Another rich asshole with a grudge against the media. It won't be gamed; using it as a cudgel will be part of the design.https://t.co/NG4fO4eCSU
— Q.H. "Intellectual Dank Web" Stone (@QHStone) May 24, 2018
Pravda Corp was, in fact, incorporated by a Musk associate late last year.
Some other folks also jumped in, like Timothy Carr, Sr. Director of Strategy for the advocacy group Free Press, gave this in a statement to CNN:
"The last thing we need is another rich and powerful dude threatening to silence any journalist who doesn't see things his way. The implication in Musk's actions are that all news media are untrustworthy. That's a shameful message to be spreading."